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BDC talks business with women entrepreneurs and launches a series of boot camps throughout Canada

Boot camps will focus on enhancing business skills and financial literacy for women entrepreneurs that have desire to grow.

Montreal, August 13, 2018 – As part of Canada’s first Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, BDC announced today that it will be offering a dozen one-day “WE Talk Business” boot camps from coast-to-coast during the fall/winter 2018-19. Registration is now open, with confirmed dates for the following events:

  • Burlington, ON, October 4
  • Halifax, NS, October 11
  • Winnipeg, MB, November 6
  • Montréal, QC, November 28
  • Calgary, AB, December 4
  • Edmonton, AB, December 6
  • Vaughan, ON, January 22

Dates for upcoming events in Kelowna and Vancouver, BC will be confirmed soon.

“Our WE initiative focuses not only on financing, but on bringing all players together to provide the right tools, advice and networking opportunities so women entrepreneurs can really tap into their potential”, says Laura Didyk, BDC’s Vice-President, Alberta South and National Lead for the Bank’s Women Entrepreneur strategy.

“We need to do more for women entrepreneurs looking to scale their businesses. Only 16% of all small and medium-sized businesses are majority-owned by women. Through “WE Talk Business” boot camps and a variety of other initiatives, BDC is working hard to address these challenges and strengthen its commitment to women entrepreneurs”, she adds.

“Our government firmly believes that the full and equal participation of women in the economy is essential to Canada’s future competitiveness. With Canada’s first Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, we are committed to helping women entrepreneurs start, sustain and scale their businesses. BDC’s WE initiative is a great example of how the Government of Canada is providing crucial support to women entrepreneurs and women-led firms across Canada. As an important component of the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, these boot camps will foster an inclusive economy that benefits all Canadians by creating more good middle-class jobs,” says the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion.

The events aim at helping women entrepreneurs acquire the skills, network, financing and management advice they need to grow their business. To build the agenda for the boot camps, the Bank teamed up with renowned and trusted leaders Janice McDonald, award-winning entrepreneur and President of The Beacon Agency, and Clare Beckton, Executive in residence at the Centre for Research and Education on Women and Work (CREWW) at Carleton University.

In addition, BDC will tailor some boot camps to the unique needs of women entrepreneurs leading technology firms as well as Indigenous women entrepreneurs. Events in support of Indigenous women entrepreneurs will take place in Saskatoon (September 18) and Ottawa (October 25).

Each boot camp will also include a partner roundtable, bringing together key players in each community to discuss issues of common interest. Participants will include Women's Enterprise Organizations of Canada members, Startup Canada, Futurpreneur and federal partners.

The boot camps are one of the Bank’s many ongoing initiatives supporting women entrepreneurs since 2015. The Bank has also committed to a new lending target of $1.4 billion for women-owned businesses over three years, an increase in the size of its Women in Tech Fund from $70 million to $200 million and refinement of its online learning content available to women entrepreneurs. BDC also supports hundreds of learning and networking opportunities for women entrepreneurs across Canada.

About BDC

BDC is the only bank devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs. It promotes Canadian entrepreneurship with a focus on small and medium-sized businesses. With its 123 business centres from coast to coast, BDC provides businesses in all industries with financing and advisory services. Its investment arm, BDC Capital, offers equity, venture capital and flexible growth and transition capital solutions. BDC is also the first financial institution in Canada to receive B Corp certification. To find out more, visit bdc.ca.


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